December 07, 2003

Muppets get into everything

We are taking a break from watching The Muppet Movie, which The Beau has never seen before, because he needs to get some work done on deadline. We'll finish watching it later tonight or tomorrow night. We stopped at a very good point: when the Swedish chef screwed up the film and it melted onto the projector bulb. Excellent timing.

I felt I deserved a short, relaxing break because I had just done something very difficult, which I knew would be difficult, and had been worrying about all day if not all weekend: I called my mom and told her that my boyfriend and I were going to live together, that he was moving into the house this month.

I haven't posted anything here about his moving in with me, because it didn't feel right to write anything until I'd told people in real life, like my family. That doesn't necessarily have to make sense, but if nothing else I felt like maybe I'd tell them more quickly if I couldn't write about it until afterwards. Also, what if somehow someone read this and told them before I did? It didn't seem quite fair.

But yes, Beau is going to move out of his apartment and we are going to live together in this lovely little house. I am very happy about it and so is he. I figured that there would only be two major difficulties to deal with:

1. Figuring out where to move my daybed; and

2. Telling my parents.

The Saga of the Daybed actually goes back to 2001 and would take a whole other entry to recount. The short version is that I think it's going in the master bedroom as a kind of auxiliary sofa/bed. The daybed is big and heavy and trying to find a place for it has been rather a pain, but I figured we would find a tolerable solution eventually, and so we have.

Telling my parents ... well, I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. I kept thinking about the time 15 years ago that I moved in with a guy and my dad essentially disowned me. I mean, it wasn't just a money thing, he didn't speak directly to me for most of an entire semester. And my mom kept dropping dark hints about how I was a bad example to my little brothers and sister. It was pretty miserable.

Now this time of course things are much different. I'm not in college, I'm 35 years old and very much on my own in an entirely different city from my family. My family likes my boyfriend very much. Everyone is older and perhaps they've mellowed a bit. No one seems to worry about me being a bad influence on my baby brother (whose reaction when I told him about the living together was extreme happiness because first of all, "you guys aren't getting any younger" and second of all, because it would make it easier for him to do similar stuff later on). My sister is happy because she thinks now I will get to be the one with the bad reputation, not her, although honestly no one in the family thinks she has a bad reputation and she's being very silly. But hey, whatever makes her happy. Logically speaking, nothing particularly bad could happen, but I'm not always guided by logic.

I wanted to tell my mom last weekend, because she started asking questions about how far away my boyfriend lives in relation to my house, and it was of course the perfect opening. However, it was Thanksgiving weekend and I could hear visiting relatives in the background so I thought that wouldn't be a very good time. (I didn't want her talking over the whole thing with the relatives afterwards, since I thought they'd be likely to dwell on the negative aspects.) It would have been pleasant to tell them in person, because then I could tell my dad at the same time (he doesn't hear so well on the phone) but that would be at Christmas time and Christmas has enough of its own kind of stress and activity and I didn't want to run the risk of something awful happening, like a huge argument about my morals on Christmas Eve.

So I called my parents early this evening and after some preliminary chitchat about LSU going to the Sugar Bowl and the pink and sparkly Barbie tree, I told my mom I had some very good news ... my boyfriend and I were going to live together.

She took it as well as anyone could expect, and maybe better. After an initial "Does this mean you're getting married?" to which I had to respond with what must have been a disappointing "No, not right now," she said that while of course she disapproves of people living together when they're not married, she thinks this is very good news anyway and she is happy that I've found such a good person to have as a partner. She had only positive things to say about it, which was very nice. My dad got on the phone to tell me about some furniture he'd made, and I didn't mention the living together to him because I thought it would be better for my mom to tell him after (I was worried he'd get extremely Catholic and upset about it), but he was in an extremely happy mood talking about the furniture.

My sister called them immediately after I got off the phone. Now bear in mind that I didn't tell her I was calling them at that time, she must have some kind of special radar. My dad answered the phone and told her he had some great news, and then announced happily that Beau was moving in my house, and that I was 35 and a grown-up so he couldn't object, and he liked Beau enough that he saw no reason why this shouldn't be very good news. Apparently he figured it out when my mom said something to me about disapproving, and that's why he was so upbeat when talking to me about furniture. My mom didn't discuss it with my sister at all, which means she's probably not as undividedly happy as she sounded to me, but I can't do anything about that. My mom did tell me that she wasn't going to go around telling everyone about it, and she hoped I would understand... and I said yes, but I wasn't going to lie about it if anyone asked me, and I hoped she would understand that. Fair enough on both sides. It's not any worse than when I used to work for the state lottery vendor and she wouldn't tell anyone, she kept pretending to forget the name of the company.

I was pleased with the phone call, as it went much better than I feared, and even more pleased to hear my sister's report that my dad was treating the event as good news. I think that my parents believe that people aren't truly happy unless they're part of a loving couple, and therefore they're happy that they feel I have found that, even if I'm not getting married. (I disagree with that, of course, but I'm not going to argue with them about it.)

Once I got off the phone with my sister, Beau and I put on The Muppet Movie. He had wanted to watch it earlier in the week by himself, and I asked him to please wait so we could watch it together. I thought that would be truly enjoyable (I was right).

The Muppets seem to get into everything. Last night, we were taking a break from organizing the kitchen and packing books and so forth and turned on the TV to find the end of A Very Merry Muppet Christmas. We sat on the couch together and I filled Beau in on bits of storyline that we'd missed. It's a nice movie to watch on TV, not my favorite Muppet movie by any means (that would be The Great Muppet Caper, if you wanted to know) but certainly entertaining. And at one point near the end of the movie, Gonzo is singing a little song about Christmas, and Kermit joins in (I am being vague so as not to spoil the ending for you) and I felt a bit sad, maybe because of hormones or because I am becoming this terribly sappy individual. I could feel myself about to tear up so I made some semi-smartassed remark, and Beau didn't reply but kept watching the TV.

I realized suddenly at that moment that I didn't have to make a smartass cynical remark around Beau to prove what a tough, non-sentimental person I am ... a habit I developed sometime in childhood when the family was watching tearjerker films on TV. He isn't going to make fun of me, or laugh at me, or think I'm silly. If I'm all teary-eyed it's okay. It's okay for me to show how I feel around this man.

So we heard Kermit singing "Rainbow Connection" on the TV today and I got a bit teary at that (I swear it must be a PMS thing) and I let myself feel as sad as I wanted to feel, and didn't cut it short with a smart remark. And that was perfectly fine. I'm really glad I'm going to live with this man, and if anyone feels differently about it, that's too bad for them and not for me.

Posted by jette at December 7, 2003 11:59 PM

Woohoo! Shackin' UP!!! Does this mean I can't come visit you in Austin anymore because you'll be running around the house nekkid (living in sin, ya know)?

Posted by: Kismet at December 8, 2003 06:37 AM


Posted by: Joanne at December 8, 2003 09:18 AM

I'm glad you made it through the telling! I'm glad they took it well. Congratulations to you both. ... And being a sap is one of the reasons he loves you, so be yourself as much as you possibly can.

Posted by: at December 8, 2003 09:45 AM

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

I'm 10 years older than you. My "beau" moved in with me 2 years ago and I *still* haven't told my mom and dad!!!!! Fortunately they live across the country and aren't in the habit of just dropping in. Oh, and I have caller ID. Heh.


Posted by: at December 8, 2003 10:02 AM


I tear up over "The Rainbow Connection" too, even when I'm singing it to my son at night to go to sleep. Heh.

Posted by: Beth at December 8, 2003 10:57 AM

Congratulations!!! The Beau is a great guy, and I'm really happy to hear that the two of you will be living together. Best of all, now you're not the only one responsible for mowing the lawn ;-)

Posted by: at December 8, 2003 12:40 PM

I am beaming with happiness for you! Doing a little happy dance in my heart. There were similar issues in my (Catholic) family when I was younger as well, and I've been disowned before by my Dad (for other reasons). But people can change, and my family's adapted.

I'm also pleased that you can be you around the Beau -- that you've found a safe place to cherish. Hugs to both of you! ((())) :)

Posted by: Rune at December 8, 2003 01:25 PM

Whoo-hoo! That is great news. (I'm hoping I can deliver similar news early next year!)

On another subject, is there something about Catholic Louisianans and the lottery? Edward White, the first Catholic Supreme Court justice made his career as a Louisiana politician by opposing lotteries (and even abandoned his traditional antipathy to federal regulation of states' conduct to vote to uphold a federal ban on interstate transportation of lottery tickets). Is this just a coincidence, or is it really a group phenomenon, if anyone knows?

Posted by: at December 9, 2003 11:45 AM